So, now we´ve been diving for four days. Our first two days were all shore dives in the same place - Paraiso, to finish our certification. Yesterday and today have been our real diving days -- bigger sites, from a boat.
Yesterday was Palancar Breech, followed by a short break to get rid of residual nitrogen in our system, then Tormentos. Palancar Breech was everything Discovery Channel shows you about coral reefs, only better. HUGE coral shelf, with overhands making small canyons you could swim through. On the other side was about 5 feet of sandy bottom, then a sharp drop off to about 3,000 feet. The coral was so rich there, it´s beyond comparison.
Tormentos was a little shallower and calmer, with sandy bottom on both sides. The coral formations weren´t so high, but were spread out more. Towards the end of the dive, we saw a large white breasted sea turtle! It swam slowly away from us, but didn´t seem overly disturbed by our presence.
Today was Santa Rosa, followed by a longer dive to a different part of Paraiso, the place where we did our certification. The current at Santa Rosa was much stronger, and the coral formations were right on the side of the drop off, creating a wall which we hovered about 70 feet down on. We just drifted, letting the strong current carry us and looked up at the schools of fish swimming overhead, and below down the coral wall towards the deep blue depths. There were more overhangs here, so we swam through canyons created by the coral, crossing over from the shallow side of the coral wall to the drop off side. The beauty just can´t be described in words.
Paraiso was much calmer -- there isn´t a coral shelf so much as random outcroppings of coral in the sandy bottom. No drop off here, and we averaged about 40 feet in depth. We saw more swimming life here -- lots of schools, a baby moray eel, and a small fish in a hole in the coral called a black sailfin blenny. About the length of a finger, it hunkered down in a tiny hole in the coral until our dive master dangled a caribiner clip in front of it. Then it would lunge out of the hole towards the shiny object in front of it. It was actually incredibly cute.
We´re going on a night dive tonight, and I´m told that all the aquatic life really comes out at night - octopi, crabs, lobsters, even the occasional shark.
I wish I could find the words to describe how incredible this experience has been, but there is nothing adequate I can say. What I can say is this: DO IT. If you love the water, if you have even the slightest interest in marine life, get certified! It´s worth every penny and more.
I AM A SCUBA DIVER FOR LIFE.